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Property/casualty reinsurance rates seen stabilizing next year


MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Reinsurers are hopeful that rates will stabilize at the Jan. 1 renewal.

During the Rendez-Vous de Septembre reinsurance gathering, Hannover Re Group CEO Ulrich Wallin said that while the market remains competitive, the pace of rate declines slowed at mid-year renewals and rates cannot fall much farther in some lines.

“It is still a buyer's market,” he said Monday in Monte Carlo, Monaco, but in 2016 rate decreases will slow or end.

Matthias Weber, group chief underwriting officer at Swiss Re. Ltd. in Zurich, said Monday that, particularly for property catastrophe business, rate declines will continue to slow down and — in the absence of any catastrophe losses — “eventually will stabilize in 2016.”

The picture is more mixed for specialty lines, he said, with some seeing increases while others decline.

The pace of new capacity entering the industry is slowing, said Mr. Weber, and reinsurers will become less able to use reserve releases to boost results.

These factors and others likely will lead to stabilization of rates, he said.

Rates for primary business in the United States are stabilizing, said Michael Pickel, a member of the executive board at Hannover Re.

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